"Honouring our Legacy: Keeping Ireland at the Heart of Global Justice"
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pádraig MacLochlainn TD today presented his party's submission to the Review of the White Paper on Irish Aid at Leinster House. The submission was compiled by Deputy Mac Lochlainn and the party's advisor on Foreign Affairs, Kaniah Cusack.
“It is heartening to learn, in research undertaken by Ipsos/MRBI last month, that there remains overwhelming support amongst the Irish public for overseas aid to the global South. I hope that our party submission contributes positively to the review of Irish Aid being conducted this year.
“It is vital that any paper which focuses on the development agenda, such as the Review of the White Paper, considers a wide range of issues and that it addresses the root causes of global poverty, not just the symptoms. The need for fair trade policies, the involvement of civil society, the role of parliamentarians in oversight and the enshrining of human rights into the development agenda must all become part of the overall plan in order for aid delivered from Ireland to be truly effective.
“Sinn Féin sees the eradication of poverty, one of the prominent Millennium Development Goals, as the underpinning issue for all other development priorities. The right to food and water and the rights to education and health are basic human rights, not needs. Gender equality, good governance and the protection of human rights all stem from the primary critical goal of the eradication of global poverty.
“Poverty is a multi-faceted problem. Therefore, the elimination of poverty and the development of sustainable growth in the global south will best be achieved when economic, environmental and social issues are addressed in a comprehensive way, and when international aid and private enterprise are coordinated and directed toward the needs of poorer communities, not at the price of them.
“Unfortunately at the moment we are witnessing the undermining of development policy by European trade policy. Ireland should be playing a positive role at European level as a champion for global trade policies which prioritise and support the needs of poorer countries.
“In this way we believe that trade can benefit countries every bit as much as aid and development.”